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  1. Arathald
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    Arathald Contributing Member

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    Plot of Sci-Fi Novel (Continued from Character Development)

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Arathald, Mar 13, 2011.

    Continuing my previous thread here, as my character development question was answered, and the discussion turned to the plot.

    I'm not sure what you're getting at here. Are you suggesting that, presuming I wanted to keep the same general structure, that I talk about these agencies and their agendas very early in the story?

    Well, I'm certainly open to suggestions, and even though my knee-jerk reaction is that I don't want to change too much, the plot is already fairly far from my original idea, so it wouldn't hurt to much to restructure things.

    I guess I'm unsure as to how my general plot could be restructured, even with substantial changes, to be a lot more character-based. The central plot line is the protagonist trying to find out what happened to his parents -- who were taken away when he was young -- and find justice or retribution against whoever was responsible. I'd rather not reveal exactly what happened to them, but, according to the current plan, both agencies were involved in it, and that is what commits him at the end of the story to trying to defeat them. I don't mind if this changes, but I guess I'm having a mental block on how to change this around to be more character-based without coming up with a completely new, unrelated plot.

    Yeah, I have some more work to do here.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A story concept means nothing. I can tell you now, it has all been done before. What matters is how you write it, the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's no benefit in asking what other people think of the concept! They'll either say,"Sounds great," or, "it sounds like a ripoff of..."

    If the idea stirs you, write it. Then ask people what they think of the final story. After they tell you what they don't like about it, revise it, usually several times, until you're happy with it or until you throw up your hands and say the hell with it.

    Please read What is Plot Creation and Development?

    As you flesh out your story, you'll have a better idea of what works and what doesn't. No one else knows your story like you do, so you should be making those decisions.
     
  3. Arathald
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    Arathald Contributing Member

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    Good point. I'll keep working with my current plot, keeping those points in mind, with the understanding that I might have to change things around drastically at some point (but that's true regardless of any feedback I get). I guess the one thing I really want to discuss is what Sidewinder said ("The problem with this type of science fiction story is that it presumes a lot of intrigue before laying out what the intrigue is all about."). I'm interested in hearing what he meant about this, because, even if it's not something worth changing my plot over, it could be something good to keep in mind as I develop it.

    I'd also be interested in seeing how I might change the plot to be character-driven, both as a point of learning, and because there's part of me that suspects I might enjoy my book better that way, and I'd like to explore it before nailing down my plot(s).
     
  4. Sidewinder
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    Sidewinder Contributing Member Contributor

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    Cogito made basically the same point I was trying to make except he put it a lot more concisely and diplomatically. Figure out the details first. The way I would write it isn't going to be the same way you would write it.

    I've read a lot of science fiction about big governments and corporations and massive webs of intrigue. Usually the institutions (or agencies) in question are money-hungry or power-hungry and out to bad things to people in order to get the power and money that motivates them, and that's where we get our crisis. It's not that this type of plot device can't work, it's just that it presumes that we actually care about all this intrigue and complexity before we even get to the point of why we should care about it. The most interesting science fiction, in my opinion, puts forth some sort of theory on human society that's a bit more nuanced, and that treats character motivation as central to the whole story. (See Philip K. Dick)
     
  5. Arathald
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    Arathald Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. Mentioning that I might want to make it more character-based prompted me to look into that, and I realized that I want to write that story much more than the one I came up with. I'm scrapping the plot and the hard-to-balance intrigue element, and starting from scratch on a Sci-Fi with a well-developed magic system. I definitely think that this direction will let my own voice come through in the story much more than what I was planning to do before.
     
  6. Sidewinder
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    Sidewinder Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you have to scrap something then that's fine -- but don't think that's what I was necessarily saying you should do. As you work things out, it will become clear what parts to scrap or not. Good luck with it.
     
  7. Arathald
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    Arathald Contributing Member

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    No, it became pretty clear that I wanted it to head in a completely different direction. I'm much happier with my new plan.
     
  8. zilly
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    zilly Senior Member

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    Quoted for emphasis. There are plenty of good stories that are plenty unoriginal. And, there are plenty of stories that, by every means, should have been good, but still managed to suck.
     

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